Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto received its world premiere on 19 April 1936. It was commissioned by American violinist Louis Krasner, who performs the solo part in this UK recording, made some weeks later, with Anton Webern conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
‘There is an excruciatingly difficult double-stopping cadenza of particular interest to those students of the violin who delight in overcoming apparently insuperable obstacles. These Mr. Krasner succeeded in disposing of with ease. I hardly imagine the concerto is destined to achieve any world-wide popularity, partly because of its lugubrious programme (it was inspired by the death of an intimate friend of the composer; the difficult cadenza already referred to is said, on good authority, to betoken her unavailing struggle against death), and partly owing to the atonal idion in which the music is composed.’ – From The Strad, January 1937